Andreas Seidl: McLaren ‘clearly’ yet to fulfil potential


Andreas Seidl believes that despite the considerable progress being made, McLaren have “clearly” yet to fulfil their potential.

2020 was the British team’s best season for quite some time as they scored 202 points and two podiums on their way to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.

It was some much-needed success following a difficult period that saw them drop down into the midfield and even become the backmarkers of the grid.

Seidl, who joined as team principal in 2019 and has overseen the improvement, thinks there is much more to come.

“We have clearly not yet fully exhausted our potential,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“The plan also requires a massive upgrade on the infrastructure side. Otherwise, you will run into limits. Some of our infrastructure was completely out of date.

“As long as the new one is not up and running, you have a big disadvantage. The wind tunnel, for example, is key in vehicle development. But it won’t be ready for two years.”

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Carlos Sainz Valtteri Bottas

Despite finishing in P3, McLaren had the fifth quickest car on the grid for much of the year, often being slower than Racing Point and Renault and nowhere near the pacesetters, Mercedes.

Seidl sees outright pace as the area that needs to be improved most, but is pleased with the team’s reliability, strategy and consistency.

“We have improved with the car, but the gap to Mercedes is still large,” the German added.

“We were able to shorten it by around three tenths in 2020, but we are still overtaken in many races. You shouldn’t lose sight of that with the successes we’ve had over the past two years.

“In terms of durability, we did not have a single failure on the vehicle side. We were even leading. We put a lot of energy into this topic over the winter from 2019 to 2020 and already on the test kilometres in winter saw that we’ve really improved.

“Or the racing strategy. We did a top job there. Compared to the competition in the battle for third place, we scored many points by making the right decisions on the pit wall.

“Overall, we were more consistent. Our car was a better all-rounder. As a team on the racetrack, we consistently delivered a great performance. And we had a reliable and fast driver pairing.”

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